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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Navigation Software Exceeds Requirements

Northrop Grumman April 7 said its Relative Navigation system exceeded accuracy requirements during recent flight tests for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Automated Aerial Refueling (AAR) program.

The objectives of the AAR program are to demonstrate critical technology to enable refueling of unmanned aircraft and develop tools to support airworthiness certification for integration with the existing Air Force tanker fleet.

The Relative Navigation software, hosted in a Northrop Grumman LN-251 GPS/inertial navigation system (INS) was tested in a Learjet surrogate aircraft operating with a modified refueling tanker. The test also used a modified Rockwell Collins 24-channel GPS receiver with enhanced tracking integrated with the LN-251 chassis.

A series of eight flight tests demonstrated the Relative Navigation software “produces consistent and predictable real-time accuracy performance across data link drops and varying time delays, close proximity and mid-range vehicle separations,” Northrop Grumman said.
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